Dogs For Blind People (Dogs For Visually Impaired)
It’s no longer new that some dogs are specially trained or prepared for the purpose of leading the visually impaired or blind people. Some may have also seen guide dogs on a walk with his blind owner. Guild dogs or service pets are well trained to help lead their owners around other people and obstacles.
Those with loss of vision throughout the world make use of guide dogs to travel independently and safely to and from work, school, home, and countless other places.
Just before we dive deeper lets quickly look at some frequently searched or asked questions about Dogs for the visually impaired or guide dogs that you need to know.
Where And How Are Guide Dogs Trained?
Dogs for the blinds or Guide dogs are usually trained by their owners or at a special school which prepares the dog for the task of leading. Despite all the applicable raining methods, one major thing is a guild dog must learn is how to guide their owner safely around varies kinds of obstacles. On the other hands, the owners must be conversant with how to give the dog the various commands when traveling along with it. Your dog should understand your commands and obey them, you can see all the important commands you should know.
Breeds For Guild Dogs?
Dogs For Blind People are considered strong and sharp in all wise, they include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Labradors, Labradoodles, and Poodles. For people who are sensitive or allergic to dogs, they can easily go for Labradoodles and Poodles as their choice.
These breeds are chosen for reasons or traits which includes, good health qualities, intelligence and temperament and can make the work easier and successful. Guild Dogs are chosen by their owners based on walking speed, personality, health and other traits of the intended owner.
Do Dog Guides Really Know Where To Go When Traveling?
Knowing where to go through when traveling is a collective effort between the guiding dog and his owner. The dog owner actually knows where he wants to get to and the certain place, therefore, the owner tells the dog through commands ( hand signals and verbal sounds.
He signals the dog with directions such as left, right, forward and backward. He goes ahead to judge if the street is safe and free to cross by listening to incoming sounds and then command the dog to start crossing. However’ when the dog disobeys the commands, it means it’s not safe for the owner to walk through and that is referred to as Intelligent disobedience.
READ NOW: How To Train A Police Dog (Step By Step)
Who Should Have A Dog Guide?
Owning a guild dog is not just limited to completely blind persons, some partially blind or persons who are legally blind but could still have usable vision can go for a dog guide. Although these individuals might still have some sight, they can still benefit from the assistance of a dog. Having a leading dog as a partially blind person can help in the long run to lead you on the right parts.
Where Find More About Guide Dogs?
The International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) is pack with a lot of information about dog guides, dome other guild school and the cyberspace is free to get more info.
Now that you have learned about some randomly asked questions about Dogs for the blind let’s delve further into the topic.
Are you with me? Okay, let’s roll!
Guide dogs can also be called leading pets, service animals, assisting animals or as seeing eye dogs. These are helping dogs rightly trained to guild the blind and visually compromised persons around obstacles.
Recall that dogs can be thought how to steer around various obstacles, but are also not capable of reading street signs. So, in this case, the owner goes ahead with the directing, he must have been trained previously on mobility training.
Brief History Of Dog Guild
The 1st service or Leading animal training schools were opened during the world war 1in Germany, and the purpose is to help the movement of returning war veterans who got blinded in war fronts or combat.
This was particularly going on in Germany, until Dorothy Harrison Eustis, a dog breeder in American dog who lives in Switzerland, published a first-hand account about a service animal training school in Potsdam in Germany, contained in Saturday Evening Post in 1927.
United States Senator Thomas D. Schall of Minnesota the same year was paired with a service animal imported from Germany, trained by the owner of LaSalle Kennels: Jack Sinykin of Minnesota.
The service animal movement later gained prominence in America when Nashville resident Morris Frank came back from Switzerland after training with one of Eustis’s dogs, a female German shepherd tagged Buddy. Frank and Buddy started a publicity tour to convince Americans of the abilities of service animals and the need to give chance to people with service animals access to public places, like transportation, hotels, and other areas open to the public.
The first notable service animals in Great Britain were German shepherds. Others such as Flash, Judy, Meta & Folly were flashed and handed over to their new owners, veterans blinded in World War I, way back on 6 October 1931 in Wallasey, Merseyside.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in Great Britain started operation and had a permanent trainer who was a Russian military officer, Captain Nikolai Liakhoff, who moved to the united kingdom in 1933.
Guild Dogs Breeds?
The choice of Guide dog breeds is made considering trainability, temperament, and health qualities. Some of the breeds include Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Labradors, Labradoodles, and Poodles. For people who are sensitive or allergic to dogs, they can easily go for Labradoodles and Poodles as their choice like i rightly state earlier in the post.
German Shepherds way back were once a common guild work breed but have now been discontinued by many schools using them due to the unwavering leadership roles which are required by the owner to keep the breed non-destructive and active.
Crosses such as the Goldador (Golden Retriever/Labrador), which combine the sensitivity of the Golden Retriever and the tolerance of the Labrador Retriever and Labradoodles (Labrador/Poodles bred to help reduce allergens as all breeds shed but levels vary) are also common.
The most popular guild dogs breed in use globally today is the known Labrador Retriever. A breed with a good range of size, it has the willing temperament, gentle and healthy.
Benefits Of Owning A Guide Dog
One of the world’s Popular psychologist, the person of Elliot Aronson based on studies has revealed that having a pet or therapy animal gives positive psychologically, socially, and physiologically effects. There are a variety of benefits associated with having Guide dogs which will help you in many ways. Some of which are:
They Give More Confidence, Security And Friendship To The Blind: Visually impaired or Blind people who own guild animals have doubled confidence in going about their businesses and day-to-day life activities and are more comforted by a constant partner.
Friendship offered by a guild dog has helped in reducing loneliness, anxiety and depression, and loneliness. Because these pets give security, support, and companionship, in fact, it tends to improve cardiovascular health for its ability to reduce stress.
Easy Mobility: Walking from one place to another becomes easier with Guide dogs resulting in the owner getting more exercise or walking more. Because some are willing to go places and feel a sense of belonging. Socialization and Meeting people is easier, and people are more likely to assist a blind person when there is a guiding dog.
The pets may also lead to increased interaction with other people. You know pets are seen as “ice breakers” to a conversation with something to discuss. In some cases, Leading dogs offer a life-changing experience. They are more advantageous than walking sticks or canes when one is in an unfamiliar place.
The pet directs the right path, instead of poking around wondering if you might bump into an obstacle. Guide dogs make the experience of the unknown more relaxing. Getting from point 1 to point 2 with a guide dog is much faster and safer. Guide dogs owners share a special bond with their pets. Many reports have emerged that the pet is a member of the family, and even some owners see comfort and support from them.
Public Protocols And Guide Dogs
Leading dogs can attract naturally the curiosity and admiration of those that may come into contact with them. Most guide dog owners do happily introduce their dogs to someone new and curious, and this can be a great ice breaker. Although, it’s important to understand and have it in mind that a guide dog is responsible for guiding its blind or visually impaired owners. Ensure not to get the dog distracted from his main functions. The dog has to be alert, focus and concentrate to endure the safety of his owner against obstacles.
General Guide Dogs Protocols For Adult & Kids
- Treat the dog nicely, be cool and soft during interaction with a guide dog.
- Do not talk to a leading dog without taking permission from the owner. Respect whatever decision the owner makes, even if he declines to allow the interaction. Some pets could start developing the habit of seeking attention outside and losing focus on their owner and the duty it has to perform.
- Never “flirt” with a guide dog; like making kissing noises, or trying to entice the dog over. These are all inappropriate and prohibited actions and will not be taken lightly by the owner.
- Do not offer meals or treats to a guide dog. Guide dogs are often raised using food as a motivational tool and positive reinforcement from the owner, and should only receive food from the owner. Leading dog diets are also especially and particularly prepared, so feeding them on any human food can lead to health problems in the dog.
- Don’t allow other dogs or pets for any reason, to approach a guide dog team, whether they are friendly or not. This can be distracting to the team of guild dogs and can cause harm to blind owners. Guide dogs are usually trained to ignore other dogs or pets.